Ad Astra

Summer 1204 Bandits!

Shortly after Fredigisa Quaesitor left the covenant, Emrys ap Madoc returned to the village from his flocks in the hills hysterical over the death of his brother at the hands of bandits. Everard, Cadan, Jocelyn, and Radulfus go back with Emrys to recover the body, and find that Elwyn had only been seriously wounded. He was helped to a small cave with a pool by his dog Gelhert, where he was miraculously healed. The grogs also discovered the bandit’s camp, and after a brief parlay retreated.

The four grogs returned the next day with Kevin and Gaspard to drive off the bandits. After they killed one bandit and wounded most of the others, several of the bandits laid down their weapons. Their leader, Melwyn disappeared into thin air! The grogs brought three prisoners, Aeddan, Bryn, and Cynlais (who almost died from his wounds) back to the covenant, and locked them in one of the guest houses.

Jocelyn asked Tangwystl and Philippe to have a “talk” with the bandits, as he figured they could use some extra hands around the covenant, but wanted to make sure the trio knew who they were dealing with. Philippe blew open the door with Charge of the Angry Winds and Tang entered invisibly, appearing to the bandits apparently out of the wind storm. Philippe followed on foot. Tang outlined the options for justice (since they had stolen a sheep and wounded Elwyn (after deserting Llewelen’s army). Philippe impulsively added pizzazz to the conversation when Bryn did not seem impressed enough by making a small flame dance around his hand. Now that the former
bandits were suitably impressed (Aeddan and Cynlais too wounded to really disagree), Tang had no trouble convincing them to serve for a year and a day at the covenant.

Within a week, Bryn was well enough to help the carpenter’s on the Otter house.

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Summer 1204 A Wedding and Royal Visit

The magi sent their wedding present for Llewelen (the silver dragon ornament) to Shrewsbury with Jocelyn and Cadan. They found out that a wooden stake (and a blood stain, ghost, etc, depending on the rumor) appeared at the spot where Tom Otter had killed Mary Kirkham on the first anniversary of the murder. Again, rumor varied, but the stake was apparently taken to the Abbey, by a local merchant, disappeared, to a local church, etc. The grogs themselves found no
evidence at the site. They had no trouble delivering the present to the Abbey.

Within a couple of weeks, a messenger showed up in the village announcing that Llewelen himself would be visiting Ieuan’s manor to personally greet and thank him for his loyalty and the present.

Agnes decided that it was time for another visit to the garden level of the regio to gather supplies for the royal visit. The magi had no choice but to go. Aaazz, Epona, Agnes, Adam, Gaspard, Sinead, and Armand made the trip on 8/20. Epona botched a spell to dry herself off, and almost drowned from the water she accidentally created in her own lungs. Aaazz quickly cast a very effective dispelling, saving Epona.

The group found they were too late to gather ther morning glories that grow in summer on the island, but entered the garden level that night and gathered the Ignem vis from over the sundial along with apples, walnuts, and lots of herbs from the garden. Not wanting to miss the festivities, they returned the next day, after only an hour in the garden.

Meanwhile, in an effort to hide the fact that Corinthius is missing, Tangwystl gave Cadan the disguising cloak and coached him on becoming the “lord of the manor” in anticipation of Llewelen’s visit.

Llewelen arrived a few days later with about a dozen retainers. Epona and Mabel were the only magi present during the visit, but the others watched the dinner through the windows in the Library. Cadan’s ruse worked well (although a couple retainers looked suspicious), and entertained the Welsh King. The group went hunting, and visited the shepherds so Llewelen could see the marvelous dog who saved his master. Elwyn and Emrys promised to give the king the pick
of the litter that Gelhert next sired.

The visit ended without serious incident.

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Summer 1204 Magi Activities
labwork

Aaazz finished her longevity potion, and looks even more amazing with her new tattoos.

Epona learned Wizards Communion.

Mabel pretty much hung out and got to know the covenant.

Philippe read The Sounds of Colors Tasted.

Tangwystl spent most of her time healing from the exploding tent.

Corinthius is still missing.

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Autumn 1204

9/21 Equinox council, where the magi decide to invite Mabel into the covenant, and make plans for the season. They instruct the carpenters to build a lab for Mabel near the Oak Circle. Jocelyn the Redcap brings a letter from Lumen ex Jerbiton about Girard. The magae reply asking for a good summa.

9/22 – 9/26 Tangwystl visits the new shrine that the faeries are upset about, and casts a spell to make words appear in Latin on the wall. Roughly translated, the script reads “Remove my image from this place, and take it to the king.” Tang’s excellent casting creates a beautiful flowing script, and causes quite an uproar. The faeries are unconvinced that the shrine will be removed, and keep Cadan hostage.

10/1 – 10/5 Tangwystl visits the Faerie Dance on the night of the new moon, to collect the mushrooms. On the way, she notices that there are priests arguing over the shrine, but no move seems to have been made to move it. Tang makes the image of the Virgin disappear from the shrine for the day to give the clergy something to think about. On the way back from the Faerie Dance, Tang finds that the shrine is being disassembled, and the faeries return Cadan, who is a little confused.

10/17 Epona, Phillipe, Agnes, Adam, Sinead, Louis, and Cecilia (Otter) visit the Regio on the full moon to gather fresh supplies for Lumen’s visit. There is no Ignem vis floating above the
sundial, because a parchment is lying across the face of the dial. It turns out to be a letter from Corinthius. The group also collect enough fruit to start the orchard. (Once planted, Epona casts a CrHe spell on the plants to keep them healthy.)

10/29 – 11/4 Aaazz, Radulfus, Kevin, Gaspard, and Armand travel to Shrewsbury for supplies, and for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. Radulfus and Kevin stay at the Abbey, while the others stay in town. Aaazz sits vigil on All Hallows’ Eve at the spot where Tom Otter murdered Mary Kirkwood, hoping to see a ghost. Since none appear, she creates a ghost light and wanders through town (invisibly) with the floating flicker.

11/2 – 11/5 Lumen of Jerbiton arrives with her servant Joan, and two grogs, Alfred and Philip. She is very pleased with Girard, who is sorry to leave AdAstra, but eager to begin training as a magus. Lumen leaves a copy of “The Reality Behind the Void” (3 volume Imagonem Summa in Latin, level 10, quality 6, also contains a copy of Sight of the Active Magics in the last volume).

11/18 Jocelyn of Mercere arrives with a letter for Tangwystl from her parens, with some newsy notes, and an alert that a grog ran away from Burnham covenant, possibly toward Wales; Scintilla
of Flambeau is beside herself with anger. Tang replies that they have seen a soldier with a magical cloak in the area.

11/22 Dai ap Arthen arrives with a message the Hywel ap Alun, of Llywelyn’s Council will be arriving with his family and retainers for the Christmas holidays. There is some scrambling to
disguise Cadan once again for the meeting with Dai.

12/14 Epona and Phillipe and their grogs once again go to the Regio to gather supplies for the upcoming visit.

12/20 The Library is emptied so Tangwystl can cast Spurn the Spark (using raw vis to make it permanent) on the room, then refilled for the council meeting tomorrow.

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Autumn 1204 activities
labwork

Aaazz Extract vis from the aura
Corinthius missing
Epona Read Ignem Summa
Mabel Read Greek Summa
Phillipe Learn Ward Against Creatures of the Air, ReAu25
Tangwystl Finish inventing Spurn the Spark, PeIg15

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Winter 1204-05 Another Noble Visit

12/21 Phillipe cast Aegis of the Hearth (level 30), including the village and Martyn Pool within the boundary this time. A small parade including all the magae, most of the covenantfolk, and some of the villagers followed Phillipe, and ended back at the great hall with a small feast. Agnes refused to put on the big to-do since we were having noble guests arriving in a couple of days for the Christmas holidays. Much of the council meeting was taken up by discussion of how to hide Corinthius’ (Ieuan) disappearance and the magi activities from Hywel ap Alun and company during their visit. The magi worry about what to do with Bryn, our recalcitrant recruit
from the bandit gang during the visit. (The other two seem fairly content, since we nursed them back to health.)

12/22 The magi hold a “court of inquiry” to determine the best course of action with Bryn. Sitting on chairs (which Tang spelled to appear like thrones), all five magi confront Bryn, and question him about his motives, and what he feels would be the best course of action to ensure his silence during the nobel visit. Mabel and Epona cast Frosty Breath of the Spoken Lie and Perception of the Conflicting Motives to aid in the inquiry, led by Tangwystl. It becomes apparent that Bryn is both scared and repulsed by the magi, and that he is completely untrustworthy. The decision is made to hide him in Epona’s sanctum, where her wax pig will (hopefully) cast Curse of Circe on him on a daily basis.

12/23 Hywel ap Alun, his wide Aerona, daughters Meriel, Rhian, and Nia, son Cadwgan, retainers Trefor, Dai, and Aled, and a gaggle of servants arrive and fill up the guest house. At dinner that night, Cadan, disguised as Ieuan, makes a small gaff, but Mabel quickly covers. The rest of dinner goes on with talk of plans for the entertainment during the twelve days.

12/25-26 Cadan makes a major blunder, and Hywel, already suspicious, realizes that he is not really Ieuan. The nobles retire to the guest houses in indignation. Tang eavesdrops on Hywel and his wife, and finds out that he believes there is an English plot afoot to encroach on Welsh lands and is tempted “to let Rhydderch go forth with his attack in the spring.” The magi decide to come clean (at least part way), and tell Hywel that they are trying to prevent any English
attempts on the land by pretending the Ieuan is still present. Hywel agrees to meet some of the “tenants” and the next day talks to Tang, Mabel, and Epona. By this time, the magi have invited their neighbor, Griffith ap Gwnfyr, to dinner, and invite Hywel and his family as well.

12/27 The dinner with the nobles and neighbors goes off as well as can be expected. It is decided that Hywel will leave behind Dai to increase the Welsh presence on the estate, but that he and his family will spend the rest of the holiday at Griffith’s estate. The magi believe that Dai will also be a spy for Hywel. It also becomes apparent that while Hywel was planning on arranging a marriage between his eldest daughter Meriel, and Ieuan, those plans are now defunct (and would have been complicated by the fact that Meriel may be secretly in love with Dai).

12/28 Hywel and his family depart. Rhian had apparently been crying over something; Meriel and Dai both appear to be detached and stiff; Cadwgan is stony and cool toward everyone. All in all, it is an awkward leave-taking.

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Winter 1204-05 Magi Activities
labwork

Aaazz will read the Ignem Summa
Epona will read the Imagonem Summa
Mabel will set up her newly built lab
Phillipe will study three pawns of Rego vis
Tangwystl will learn the spell Covenant’s Income.

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Winter 1204-05 The Messenger

With Hwyel and family safely away at Griffith’s manor, the magae decide to not worry about Dai the spy, and settle back into routines. Of course, the activities are anything but routine for Dai.

First, a trip to the regio across the frozen pond ends with Aaazz magicking the boat to travel across the ice, effectively racing Tangwystl who thought it fun just to walk across the water. A really good spontaneous ReHe allowed Aaazz to continue guiding the boat right up the banks, across the field (at which point Tang decided the boat was more interesting than walking, and climbed in), and right up the hill to the manor house. (While in the regio, Mabel translated
the inscription on the sundial, piquing everyone’s interest about further regio levels. The group decided not to stay and explore, however, as the time difference would have taken too much time away from studies this season.)

More routines included Epona playing “catch the mousy” in the snow while in lynx form, and Tangwystl re-casting the ceiling illusion in the great hall. Phillipe seemed able to keep a low profile for a change while he worked on the magic bird-repelling necklace.

Rhian showed up one Sunday a couple of weeks later, claiming to have a message for Dai. She apparently snuck away while Griffith and his family were at mass. The news is that Meriel is now betrothed to Dewi, Griffith’s nephew and heir, and Merial, Rhian, and a servant have stayed on at the manor while the rest of the family returned home. Dai was not pleased with this news, but Rhian was able to settle him down, and delivered a message to from Meriel to him.
Sinead and Everard returned Rhian to Griffith’s manor later that evening.

The visit concerned the magae on several counts. First, Rhian was able to find the manor, even though it was still cloaked in illusion when she arrived. (She claimed to have been able to see it.) She also seemed to have no trouble eluding Griffith’s family on her way out. The magae also discussed the possibility of becoming involved in the love triangle between Meriel, Dai, and Dewi, but again decided that leaving well enough alone was a good option.

Rhian continued to visit every Sunday, and started staying over until Monday morning. Apparently, Griffith decided that acknowledging and giving permission for the visits was a better course than trying to stop them and failing. Dai certainly appreciated the messages from
Meriel.

Perceval the Redcap’s visit this season brought news of nasty cold and snowy weather across the Tribunal, the Thames freezing over, ghosts in Shrewsbury, and Scintilla of Flambeau stalking around the Lake District looking for her escaped grog. The magae send requests to Voluntas, Schola Pythagoranis, and Semitae for permission to come and copy a Summa.

Rhain’s did not visit one Sunday in late February, and Dai was beside himself with worry. Jocelyn kept him busy, and followed him later in the week on the night of the new moon. Dai had a secret meeting with Trefor (another of Hwyel’s guards). The spy was confirmed, but hopefully passed along only the strange doings of the magae, instead of the possibility of an English plot.

The magae dispatched Cadan and Everard to search out the Welsh grogs, and alert them to the difficulties facing the covenant; everyone is a little worried that the raid by Rydderch, revealed by Hwyel, wouldtake place in early Spring.

Rhian’s visits began again the following Sunday. She told Mabel that Griffith was cancelling the marriage to Dewi, and taking Meriel as his own wife, setting aside Mellyngill, who has not produced an heir herself. Rhian refuse to tell Dai on this first visit, but did so the next week, at which point Jocelyn and Everard had to ply him with mead and commiseration to prevent him from blundering off to “rescue” Meriel.

Further visits from Rhian revealed that she was coming more to spend time with Adam than to deliver messages to Dai, and that not only would the wedding take place late in the winter, but that Meriel was pregnant, and Mellyngill had left the manor.

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Spring 1205 A New Lord and The Attack

March 9
Cadan and Aeddan, while searching for the covenant’s Welsh grogs, learn that Rhys and Collen both died in the fighting, as did Rhys’ father, Gwydion. His half-brother, Huw, is without family or home, and decides to go with the grogs based on Rhys’ stories and the promise of a “home”.

March 24
Cadan, Aeddan, and Huw rescue Morien, Collen’s son, and his mother Betrys from their manor as it is attacked by Sulien ap Madoc. Morien’s grandfather Daffydd dies defending his land and his grandson’s escape. The group is ambushed by a scouting party from Sulien’s main force, but
escapes with only light wounds. Morien demonstrates his skill with a sword.

March 28
Melangill, Gryffydd’s former wife begs Epona for a spell to make her look like Meriel, so she can spend one more night with her husband. Melangill offers money when Epona seems ready to decline, then offers three finger bones, which apparently contain Perdo vis, although she is
vague about how she came by the artifacts. Epona, unsure of her motives, tells Melangill she needs to research the spell for a day, and consults Mabel, Aaazz, and Phillipe. The magae decide that it would be better not to help Melangill, as the convenant has too much to lose by
alienating Griffydd. When Melangill returns the next day, Epona continues their conversation with her while Mabel casts a spell to determine her motives (revenge and fear). The magae again reject Melangill, who becomes hysterical, and leaves angry.

March 30
Tang returns from her trip to the Faerie Dance. She had a little trouble traveling invisibly, but was successful in gathering the vis from the mushroom ring the next morning.

March 31 – April 2
Cadan, Aeddan, Huw, Morien, and Betrys return to AdAstra. Betrys and Morien have dinner with Mabel, Epona, Aaazz, and Tangwystl, and reveals a letter stating the Collen (and thus Morien) is Corinthius’ heir. The Magae agree to vacate the library, as Betrys insists that the room
should be the quarters for the “family”. The contents of the library are successfully moved to one of the guest houses, where the windows are shuttered and the door locked. Betrys and Morien move into the room above the kitchens.

April 10
Aaazz, Mabel, Gaspard, Adam, Agnes, and Armand go to the regio on the night of the full moon to gather the fruits and herbs and ignem vis. Aaazz botches the spell to gather the vis, and gains a twilight point. Aaazz and Tang spy on Betrys and Morien, using Aaazz’s spell
Transpicuous Ring and Tang’s apparent knack for magically overhearing conversations. Betrys is thinking about inviting Griffydd for a dinner, and Morien is wishing he could spend more time with the men-at-arms, rather than in the upper room. Betrys seems fairly overprotective of their new position.

April 28
Epona and Mabel leave to visit Griffydd to renegotiate the lease on the stone circle.

April 30 – May 1
Eleri brings news of scouts in the village. Aeddan and Kevin track the scouts back to their camp, and discover a force of over two dozen foot and half a dozen mounted men about two miles from the covenant. A young man of about 17 appears to be giving orders, and there is some
restiveness about the fact that the manor was not where it was supposed to be.

Jocelin reports to the magae what his scouts have seen, and the magae go to Betrys and Morien. Betrys is pretty much useless, but Morien steps up to his responsibilities and decides to confront Rydderch in the morning. Tang casts a version of Aura of the Ennobled Presence on
Morien, who rides out with Aeddan, Cynlais, and Huw. Aaazz, Tangwystl, and Phillipe follow with their shield grogs, despite Morien’s wishes.

Rydderch’s army parts to allow Morien and his cohort through, but the young man makes some mistakes in talking to Rydderch and his son Lewys. Rydderch is not impressed with Morien’s credentials as heir to the manor.

While the conversation continues, Tangwystl (who hung back with the other magi) is noticed by some of Rydderch’s force. Lewys goes to investigate, and orders some men to bring Tang and Cadan forward. Tang responds with a spell to make a campfire flare large, blue, and in the
image of Morien. Thinking quickly, Morien again asserts his rights, and orders Rydderch off his land within 36 hours. The invading force is thrown into a bit of a panic by the flaring fire. Tang quickly conjures a flame in her palm, and threatens the men near her.

Morien, the grogs, and the magae are allowed to leave. Phillipe casts a strong wind behind the group to foul any arrows the invaders may think to fire their way, and Tang and Aaazz cast spells to cover the group’s trail back up to the manor.

May 2
Epona and Mable arrive home from Griffydd’s manor, noticing a large group of men packing up a camp.

To be continued…

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Spring 1205 Magi Activities

Aaazz — Invent a spell to keep an object cold (PeIg10, touch, mom/perm, ind), hoping to create an item to keep the icicles from the regio frozen.
Epona — Invent a spell to kill the vermin in an area (PeAn10, reach, inst, room).
Mabel — Reading the Greek Summa, planning on tranlating the carvings in the regio.
Phillipe — Learning Ward against creatures of the Air (ReAn(Au)25), getting ready to enchant the necklace for the ogre.
Tangwystl — Inventing Edge of the Razor.

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